After surrendering 140 yards on 30 carries to Jamaal Charles in last Sunday’s 9-6 win against the Kansas City Chiefs, the Ravens are expecting the Dallas Cowboys to follow a similar blueprint with tailback DeMarco Murray.
“Murray is, I think, a heck of a back,” strong safety Bernard Pollard said. “Being able to get a chance to see him last year, from the little I’ve seen of him on film, I think the guy can be a standout back in this league. I think he understands that, his team knows it. They have a two-headed monster with him and [backup Felix] Jones. So what are we doing? You’ve got to look at the last game. We gave up 140 to one player. They ran for 214. So you have to think that [the Cowboys] are going to come in here and try to run the ball. So we’ve got to be sound in every aspect and be ready to play.”
That line of thinking is reasonable, but Dallas has relied more on quarterback Tony Romo’s right arm than Murray’s legs. The Cowboys’ run-to-pass ratio of 31.9 percent ranks as the fourth lowest in the NFL, trailing only the New Orleans Saints (27.9 percent), the Oakland Raiders (29.6) and the Cleveland Browns (30.8).
Murray is averaging just 15.3 carries and 59.3 yards per game and his lone touchdown in the team’s 16-10 win against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sept. 23 is Dallas’ only rushing score of the season.
But Cowboys coach Jason Garrett insisted that Murray’s value has not been forgotten by his coaches or teammates.
“We want to be a balanced attack. There is no question about that,” Garrett said. “That’s when we’re at our best. Probably, around the league, most coaches would tell you that. … I think at different times we’ve done some good things in the running game and some good things in the passing game, but we just haven’t been as consistent and efficient with our execution. We have to work very hard in practice to clean that stuff up and hopefully carry it to the ball game.”